1 Chronicles 5


Descendants of Reuben

        • ESV Study Bible notes, “The Transjordanian [east of the Jordan River] tribe of Reuben (vv. 1-10), tribe of Gad (vv. 11-17), and half-tribe of Manasseh (vv. 23-26) are considered next, although by the Chronicler’s time these tribes had largely lost their own identities as a consequence of the Assyrian invasions in the eighth century BC. Nonetheless, the Chronicler still included within his conception of ‘all Israel’ whatever remnants of the northern tribes still existed…”

      • These were the sons of Reuben, Israel’s firstborn. Reuben was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father’s bed, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Israel’s son Joseph. So Reuben is not listed in the genealogical record in accordance with his birthright. And even though Judah became the strongest among his brothers and a ruler came from him, the birthright was given to Joseph.

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible writes, “Although Reuben was the oldest son of Israel, he did not receive his birthright because he had sexual relations with his father’s concubine (Gen 35:22). Jacob transferred this right to Joseph when he elevated Ephraim and Manasseh to full membership among the tribes (Gen 48:5). This gave Joseph the double portion that traditionally belonged to the firstborn (Deut 21:15-17). As Jacob foresaw, Judah surpassed his brothers and became forefather of the ruling tribe (Gen 49:8-10)…”

        • HCSB adds, “’Ruler’ was a reference to David…”

      • The sons of Israel’s firstborn, Reuben: Hanok, Pallu, Hezron, and Karmi.

      • The descendants of Joel: his son Shemaiah, Shemaiah’s son Gog, Gog’s son Shimei, Shimei’s son Micah, Micah’s son Reaiah, Reaiah’s son Baal, and Baal’s son Beerah. Beerah was a leader of the Reubenites, and Tiglath-Pileser king of Assyria took him into exile.

        • ESV Study Bible says, “This is a fragmentary genealogy of Reuben’s line, extending down to their exile by the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III, in his conquest of Gilead (Transjordanian Israel) in 733 BC. See also 2 Chron 28:19-21).”

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible adds, “Tiglath-pileser was king of Assyria (744-727 BC); he attacked the tribes of the Transjordan during King Pekah’s reign (752-732 BC), taking the people into captivity (see 5:25-26; 2 Kgs 15:29).”

      • His relatives by their families as they are recorded in their genealogy: Jeiel the leader, Zechariah, and Azaz’s son Bela. Azaz was Shema’s son, and Shema was Joel’s son.

      • They settled in the area from Aroer to Nebo and Baal Meon. And because their livestock had increased so much in Gilead, they spread east up to the edge of the desert that extends to the Euphrates River. During the time of Saul, they attacked the Hagrites and defeated them. They lived in the Hagrites’ dwellings throughout the entire region east of Gilead.

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible says, “The tribes of Transjordan, including the Reubenites, expanded their settlements to the north and east in conjunction with their war with the Hagrites in the days of Saul (see 5:18-22; Ps 83:6). Later, the Hagrites were among David’s men (see 1 Chr 11:38; 27:31).”

Descendants of Gad

        • ESV Study Bible notes, “The Chronicler’s information about the descendants of Gad in Bashan (roughly, to the northeast of the Sea of Galilee) is taken from records (possibly a military census; see v. 18) dating from the eighth century BC reigns of Jotham king of Judah and Jeroboam king of Israel (v. 17).”

      • The descendants of Gad lived next to them in the land of Bashan as far as Salecah: Joel the leader, Shapham the second-in-command, then Janai, and Shaphat in Bashan. Their relatives, listed according to their families were: Michael, Meshullam, Sheba, Jorai, Jakan, Zia, and Eber- seven in all.

      • These were the sons of Huri’s son Abihail. Huri was Jaroah’s son, Jaroah was Gilead’s son, Gilead was Michael’s son, Michael was Jeshishai’s son, Jeshishai was Jahdo’s son, and Jahdo was Buz’s son. Ahi was head of their family. Ahi was Abdiel’s son, and Abdiel was Guni’s son. The Gadites lived in Gilead, in Bashan and its surrounding villages, and throughout all the pasturelands of Sharon as far as they extended. All of these were entered in the genealogical records during the time of Judah’s King Jotham and Israel’s King Jeroboam.

        • The 2 passages above are difficult to follow. On the phrase “these were the sons of Abihail,” Pulpit Commentary writes, “; i.e. the seven ‘brethren’ of the preceding verse.” Therefore, what follows is an ascending genealogy. The same source continues, “A rapid line of descent, or rather of ascent, consisting of ten generations, from Abihail to Guni, here follows.”

        • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible remarks, “The bulk of the Gadite territory seems to have been in Gilead, a plateau some 2,000 feet above sea level. This land had rich grazing lands and plenty of moisture- the primary reasons that the three Transjordanian tribes opted to remain there in the first place (cf Nu 32:1-5, 33-34).” On “Sharon” the same source continues, “Mentioned also in the Mesha Stele, this name has not been precisely identified. This ‘Sharon’ should not be confused with the ‘Sharon’ mentioned elsewhere in Scripture (SS 2:1)- the coastal plain between Joppa and Mount Carmel.”

        • On the genealogical records, the same source adds, “This is likely an unknown census in the days of Jotham. There is no indication from 1-2 Kings that Jotham and Jeroboam II were contemporaries, but chronological studies of the period have shown them to be at least partly synchronous.”

        • HCSB says, “Jotham reigned 742-745 BC. Jeroboam reigned 786-746 BC.”

      • The Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh had 44,760 valiant men who could serve in their combined armies, able-bodied men who carried shields and swords, were equipped with bows, and were trained for battle. They attacked the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish, and Nodab. They received help against these enemies, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands because they cried out to Him during battle. He granted their request because they trusted in Him. The plunder taken from the Hagrites included 50,000 camels, 250,000 sheep, 2,000 donkeys, and100,000 captives. Many of the Hagrites fell slain because the battle was God’s. They lived there in the Hagrites’ place until the exile.

        • NLT Illustrated Study Bible writes, “The account of the war against the Hagrites develops the elements introduced in 5:10. It was a struggle among shepherds over grazing territory. All three tribes were participants; the Chronicler details their prowess, military qualifications, and numbers. With God…fighting against the enemy, the victory resulted in enormous spoils and total possession of the territory.”

        • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible notes, “The allies of the Hagrites…are all Arabian tribes. Alliances between small states to form larger fighting forces were common throughout the ancient Near East, through all periods. The offensive this time seems to be on the part of the Transjordan tribes against the Arabs.” On Jetur and Naphish, the same source continues, “Both are known from the list of Ishmael’s descendants (Ge 25:15). Jetur. By Roman times they were known as the Itureans (cf Lk 3:1), located in an area northwest of Palestine. It cannot be necessarily concluded, however, that this is where they were to be found at the time. Naphish. Mentioned in a seventh-century BC letter to the Assyrian king Ashurbanipal. Nodab. Not known from elsewhere, unless it is to be identified with Abdeel, another of Ishmael’s sons (Ge 25:13).”

        • ESV Study Bible adds, “The Chronicler has reworked a military census and battle report (v. 18) concerning the two and a half tribes to express one of his characteristic theological ideas: that God answers his people and grants them victory when they cry out to him in trusting prayer (see 2 Chron 13:13-16; 14:9-15; 20:5-12, 22-23)…”

The Half-Tribe of Manasseh

      • The people of the half-tribe of Manasseh were numerous, and they settled in the land from Bashan all the way to Baal Hermon, Senir, and Mount Hermon. These were the heads of their families: Epher, Ishi, Eliel, Azriel, Jeremiah, Hodaviah, and Jahdiel. They were skilled warriors, famous men, and heads of their families. However, they were unfaithful to the God of their ancestors, and instead, they prostituted themselves after the gods of the peoples of the land whom God had destroyed before them. So the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Assyria’s King Pul (that is Tiglath Pileser the king of Assyria), and he took the Reubenites, Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh into exile. He took them to Halah, Habor, Hara, and the Gozan River, where they remain to this very day.

King of Assyria Tiglath-Pileser III, who ‘took the Reubenites, the Gadites, and the half-tribe of Manasseh into exile’ (1 Ch 5:26)” Wikimedia commons

        • NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible notes, “Tiglath-pileser III (744-727 BC) invaded upper and lower Galilee in 733 BC and the years following, and reduced the northern kingdom of Israel to Samaria and its surroundings. From the northern kingdom he deported 13,520 people.” See 2 Kgs 15:29; 17:6).

        • ESV Study Bible writes, “The half-tribe of Manasseh lived east of the Jordan between the boundary of Gad’s territory (Bashan) and Mount Hermon in Lebanon. These details are probably drawn from old military records. Their large numbers and their extensive lands indicate divine blessing. Nevertheless, the half-tribe of Manasseh was defeated and exiled, along with the Reubenites and Gadites, into Assyrian lands by Tiglath-pileser (known as ‘Pulu’ in the Babylonian Chronicle)…However this may have looked from the perspective of worldly politics, the Chronicler attributes the defeat and exile to God’s initiative in human affairs: the God of Israel stirred up the spirit of Pul (see also 2 Chron 21:16; 36:22). The writers brief account is based on 2 Kings 17:7-23, along with particular details from 2 Kings 15:29; 17:6; 18:11, to which he has added his own characteristic emphasis, that because these idolatrous Israelites broke faith (Heb ma’al), they were punished by suffering foreign invasion and exile. Exactly the same fate will befall Judah for the same reasons (1 Chron 9:1; 2 Chron 36:14-20). Just as 1 Chron 5:20-22 portrays the result of faithfulness to God, vv. 25-26 depict the consequences of the opposite attitude. The basic contrast will be reflected throughout the narrative. The fate of these Transjordan tribes is representative of the other northern tribes’ fate as well. The Chronicler does not, however, describe their invasion and deportation by the Assyrians, but only alludes to these events in 2 Chron 30:6-7.”

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